Highland Mountains (MT): Red Mountain

If you are anywhere in the vicinity of historic Butte, Montana, you’d be crazy to miss this hike. Short and sweet on relatively easy terrain, you’ll pass an old fire tower, and gain one or two rugged summits with commanding views of Butte and the surrounding area.

The Dirt

  • Length: 3-6 miles roundtrip
  • Difficulty: easy to moderate (due to elevation gain)
  • Elevation gain: about 1000-2000 ft depending on if you summit
  • Exposure: moderate to steep (but stable) talus slopes
  • Family-friendly: yes (to the fire tower)
  • Optimal Season: June – October
  • Fun fact: Easy hike up jeep road switch backs to fire tower! Fantastic summit with amazing views only a few miles from your car, followed by beers in historic Butte or sandwiches at Wheat Montana in Three Forks.

Note that in the map below shows to possible points of access: one off of highway 2 and along Fish Creek, the other from the north. The elevation profile reflects this as well — the trailhead starts at about 9000 feet!

Flickr Photos

[flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157622295945536″]

Location

Download the GPX file.

Absaroka Mountains: Elephant Head Summit

Elephant Head is a full day hike to a large flat summit in the northern Absaroka Mountains of Montana. The thigh burning final approach of 1500 feet up a loose talus slope is sure to have you aching the next day.

The dirt

  • Length: ~9 miles roundtrip
  • Difficulty: advanced
  • Elevation gain: about 3500 ft
  • Fun fact: Large flat summit with excellent views down the front range of the Absarokas

Location

Download the GPX file.

Bridger Mountains (MT): Sacagawea Peak

This relatively easy and short hike is close to the Bozeman, Montana metropolitan area. It is suitable for everyone in reasonable shape (including kids) and ends up with a 360° panorama of the area.

The Dirt

  • Length: 4.5 miles roundtrip
  • Difficulty: easy to moderate (due to elevation gain)
  • Elevation gain: about 2000 ft depending on trailhead
  • Exposure: none to slight (on the summit only)
  • Family-friendly: yes
  • Optimal Season: June – October (with significant snow in June likely)
  • Fun fact: Great views of the Bridger and Crazy Mountain Ranges, with the Tobacco Roots and Beartooths in the distance. Access road passes the Bridger Bowl Ski Area.

Flickr Photos

[flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157622259106388″]

Location

Download the GPX file.